My birthday falls during the darkest time of the year. Then, almost immediately, the Winter Solstice is here. We celebrate the dawning of the light and the days start getting longer. Then comes Christmas, and we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the coming of the light of Christ.
Being someone who seeks to follow that light, it’s unfathomable to me that over 80% of white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump for president. (See Christianity Today) The values, practices, and policies that Donald Trump models and promotes are the antithesis of the teachings and example of Jesus. It reminds me of a book called Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To. I don’t apologize for Right Wing Christianity and I definitely don’t belong to that church.
For people who yearn for peace, justice, and the healing of creation, the election of Donald Trump has brought a new level of darkness. But even the specter of Trump as president is not enough to completely blot out the light.
My friends and I arrived at Standing Rock on Election Day. That night, we watched the election results on the TV in a hotel room at the nearby casino. The reality of Trump’s election hit us hard, along with all the people in the camp. But I was glad to be with like-minded people and engaged in positive action during that time.
I believe that perseverance in the work for justice, even and especially during the hard times, will help us move as a people in the direction of the light. The struggle has been hard, but it looks like it’s about to get harder. I am still glad to be surrounded by people who have been praying and working for justice for a long time, and by those who are new to the struggle.
As the darkness of fear descends upon people who are vulnerable, those of us who care will stand in solidarity with them, for if we stand by and allow our brothers and sisters to be sacrificed, we become part of the darkness. As hate and discrimination become the norm, we will stand in resistance to cruel policies and act with compassion. As lies pervade public discourse, we will seek truth and open ourselves to the guidance of Spirit. As greed and selfishness become conventional wisdom and national policy, we will share with the poor and stand with the dispossessed. As the darkness of despair settles in, threatening to paralyze us with apathy, we will rouse ourselves, become more fully human, and take actions that embody hope.
Like many others, I have seen and seek to follow the light in my daily life. I know that “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” I still believe that we shall overcome someday. Each day that we walk hand in hand we help make it so.
To find out more about a Jesus whose mission was to bring “good news to the poor and release to the captives,” and to “bring down the mighty from their thrones and to raise up the lowly,” see a previous Christmas blog: The Revolutionary Stories of Baby Jesus. Or take a look at Jesus, Resister, Part I or Jesus, Resister, Part II, or just about any of my other writings
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Find previous blog postings about Christmas.
Find previous blog postings about Standing Rock.